One of the areas where Manchester United will probably have to spend money sooner than later is their central midfield.
Marouane Fellaini is on his way out, Michael Carrick will retire soon, and Ander Herrera has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford. It seems the only two players that have a squad spot assured on a long-term scenario are Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, but the French has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons of late. In fact, there has been talk that Pogba could leave the team – again – next summer.
Therefore, the need is clear. Manchester United NEED to bolster their midfield depth. However, one name that never gets enough credit is the one of a first-team player who has been gaining more and more minutes in recent weeks. We are talking about Scott McTominay, who completed the transition from the Reserves to the first team, and is now a full-time squad member on Jose Mourinho’ side.
McTominay’s development has been noticeable
McTominay might not be as talented as Pogba or Herrera, or as tough as Fellaini and Matic. But he can definitively play. He is still quite raw and needs more games to further develop his skills, but the talent is clearly there. In a way, he looks quite similar to Darren Fletcher, the former United midfielder who was key for Sir Alex Ferguson last decade as a do-it-all kind of player. With the right coaching and the proper training, McTominay can reach that height and possibly higher. After all, he is more technically gifted than the former Scotland skipper.
The 21-year-old made his first team debut last season, but his year he has played on a semi-regular basis. McTominay has started Cup matches, Premier League games, and even in the UEFA Champions League, where he was part of the starting XI that drew 0-0 against Sevilla last week. He also played against Chelsea last week and looked quite comfortable. The Blues might not be at their best, but let’s be realistic. They are still the reigning EPL champions and one of the best teams in the world.
There’s no doubt McTominay has a bright future ahead of him
McTominay might not be ready to challenge for a starting spot yet, his time will come. He has the talent and the physical presence (1.93 mts) to become a regular fixture in United’s midfield for years to come.
2017 was his debut, and 2018 has been his settling year. Expect him to breakthrough in 2019, because we are witnessing the development of someone who can be one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League before our own eyes. So United must be wise and hang on to him at all costs. He’s the first gem of an ever-improving Academy, and is slowly proving everyone he is good enough to feature for the Red Devils for years to come.
McTominay’s time will definitively come. He just needs to be patient and grab the chance as soon as he has it.